Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo won the 2020 International Emmy Founders Award in recognition of the daily press briefings he held as COVID-19 ravaged his state.
“The Governor’s 111 daily briefings worked so well because he effectively created television shows, with characters, plot lines, and stories of success and failure,” International Academy President & CEO Bruce L. Paisner said in a statement. “People around the world tuned in to find out what was going on, and New York tough became a symbol of the determination to fight back.”
The statement went on to explain why the academy concluded that Cuomo deserved the prestigious award, which has been given to people such as Jim Henson, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and Norman Lear:
On March 2, 2020, New York Governor Cuomo conducted a media briefing from Albany, the State’s capital, to inform and educate New Yorkers and the public at large about the coronavirus outbreak that was just starting to be recognized as a massive public health threat. That 12-minute introduction, part of a 34-minute session with other state leaders, was the first of 111 consecutive daily briefings for New Yorkers and the wider world about the grim progress of the worst pandemic to hit the United States in a century. The briefings were carried live by New York’s local TV stations, nationally on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and other news outlets in the U.S. and around the world. The last “daily briefing was held on June 19, 2020. These daily communications have drawn a total of 59 million viewers.
Cuomo’s award was met with ridicule from some on Twitter, such as Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean, whose husband’s parents died while in New York assisted living facilities.
“I wonder if the @TheEmmys will add an extra in memoriam section after they give @NYGovCuomo his award remembering all the seniors who died thanks to his amazing leadership skills,” Dean tweeted. She later wrote, “Reading all the tweets yelling about the @NYGovCuomo and @TheEmmys award he’s going to get for his ‘leadership’ makes me feel like I’m not alone in my anger and disgust.”
The Federalist’s Ben Domenech wrote, “Andrew Cuomo deserves to be on trial for the elderly people his nursing home order directly murdered. Instead, he’s getting an Emmy.”
Sources: The Federalist, The Hill and The Daily Wire; Photo: Getty Images